Former Australia batsman Brad Hodge has been named head coach of the Cricket Australia XI for the Matador One-Day Cup, which begins Saturday October 1.
Hodge, who this year coached new Indian Premier League franchise Gujarat Lions and has coached in an assistant role with the Adelaide Strikers for the past two seasons, takes the reins of the concept team, introduced to the Matador Cup last year with the aim of providing fringe state players with an opportunity to test their wares in the country's top domestic one-day tournament.
The squad was selected by the youth selection panel in conjunction with state talent managers, with an eye to ensuring their pathway within cricket in Australia.
Quick Single: Full Matador One-Day Cup schedule
West Australian Will Bosisto has been named captain, a role he filled last year during a tough introduction for the young guns, while Victorian Matthew Short has been named deputy.
Troy Cooley, who recently mentored Australia A through the Winter Series in Queensland, has been named Hodge's assistant coach.
"This is a great opportunity for these emerging players to test their skills and develop their cricket by competing at domestic level," said Greg Chappell, CA's national talent manager.
"The squad contains a number of players who have already played domestic cricket.
"Hopefully this opportunity will allow these players to push for further selection within states or at the national level."
Ten players from the last year's CA XI squad went on to play in the Sheffield Shield and/or Big Bash League by the end of the 2015-16 season.
Western Australia allrounder Hilton Cartwright and Queensland leg-spinner Mitch Swepson – who both represented the CA XI last year – have since gone on to play for Australia A, with Cartwright earning player-of-the-match honours in a four-day fixture against India A earlier this month for his century-making performance.
"It's been really pleasing to see the development of players from last year's CA XI,” Chappell said. "Hilton Cartwright and Mitch Swepson are two examples of players who have taken that opportunity with both hands, and have gone from strength to strength over the past 12 months.
"Players in this year's squad now have the opportunity to follow that same path, and we are confident this side will be competitive throughout the tournament."
This year's squad features players from all six state squads, and contains one player of Indigenous background – Tasmania's Ryan Lees.
The squad also contains a number of players from the National Performance Squad which recently competed in the Quadrangular 'A' Series in Queensland, including Victorian fast bowler Thomas O'Donnell, the son of former Australian allrounder Simon O'Donnell.
Cricket Australia XI: William Bosisto (c, WA), Matthew Short (vc, Vic), James Bazley (Qld), Jake Carder (WA), Ryan Gibson (NSW), David Grant (SA), Sam Grimwade (Vic), Sam Harper (Vic), Liam Hatcher (NSW), Josh Inglis (WA), Ryan Lees (Tas), Arjun Nair (NSW), Thomas O'Donnell (Vic), Jhye Richardson (WA). Coach: Brad Hodge.
CA XI matches
Oct 1 v Qld, AB Field, Brisbane
Oct 5 v Tas, AB Field, Brisbane
Oct 7 v NSW, Hurstville Oval, Sydney
Oct 11 v Vic, North Sydney Oval, Sydney
Oct 15 v SA, Hurstville Oval, Sydney
Oct 17 v WA, Hurstville Oval, Sydney
Matador Cup broadcast matches
Oct 6: Qld v WA, WACA. Oct 8: WA v Vic, WACA. Oct 9: SA v WA, WACA. Oct 12: SA v NSW, Drummoyne Oval. Oct 13: Vic v Tas, North Sydney Oval. Oct 14: Qld v NSW d/n, Drummoyne. Oct 15: Tas v WA, North Sydney. Oct 16: NSW v Vic d/n, North Sydney. Oct 18: Vic v Qld, Drummoyne. Oct 19: NSW v WA, North Sydney. Oct 21: Qualifying final, d/n, Drummoyne. Oct 23: Final, North Sydney.